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Out-of-the-Way Places

Jul 22, 2015

From time to time we’re asked about lesser known places to fish, where a guest can expect to see very few, if any, people in a full day’s fishing.  Fortunately, with the Henry’s Fork, South Fork and Madison being so famous, they overshadow many other fine waters not far from the Lodge.  Here are a few we know about:

Cardiac Canyon on the Henry’s Fork
This one the guides know well and can take you to on a guide trip.  It’s about 15 miles south of the Lodge and can be floated in an inflatable boat or raft.  It takes a steep walk down to the river, but once there you will experience beauty and solitude as you float down through a canyon with no  roads, houses or other signs of civilization.  Both rainbows and browns, some very large ones, come to the fly, especially during salmonfly season.

The Lower Teton
This is another river floatable with a guide.  It is most famous for being the site of the Teton Dam collapse – a catastrophic failure and flood in 1976 – but less known for its population of large cutthroats and some browns.  It’s canyon water interspersed with slow-moving pools.  The guide trips here are limited and the access is very difficult for do-it-yourself anglers, so you will enjoy a quiet float.

The Upper Teton
This is the same river described above, but its character is entirely different.  It’s a largely spring-fed stream flowing through a beautiful pastoral setting in the Teton Valley, about 50 miles from the Lodge.  Broad and fairly shallow, it might be considered a mini Henry’s Fork.  Wadeable in many places, it has classic dry fly fishing to sizable rainbows and cutthroats.   Fishing usually begins in late June and is at its best in that early part of the season and again in September.   Island Park guides are just now learning this part of the river, but it can be fished with a guide or on your own.

Warm River
A beautiful mountain stream largely ignored except where it flows near a road or through a campground, the Warm River is a terrific place for beginners.  This is the place to take young kids!  The uppermost sections are within 15 miles of the Lodge, small enough to be negotiated without waders and offer hordes of small brookies.  Kids and adults alike marvel at the jewel-like beauty of these eager and easy-to-catch fish.  Below the influx of water gushing from Warm River Springs the river becomes somewhat bigger as do the fish, now mostly rainbows.  The river flows through forested country to its confluence with the Henry’s Fork, about 20 miles from the Lodge.

Other Waters
We will tell you about other waters – there are many nearby – in a later installment.